Washington Governor Signs Gun Notification Bill 'Sheena Henderson Act'

Apr 28, 2015

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday to help prevent gun violence in mental health emergencies. It allows families to request notification when police return guns to loved ones.

It’s called the Sheena Henderson Act and it’s named for a Spokane woman.

Sheena’s husband Chris had been making suicidal threats before police confiscated his gun.

The day after they returned it, he fatally shot his wife and himself.

Friend Kristin Otoupalik said Sheena should have been told about the gun. 

"When interviewed by police, I was asked if I knew where Chris had gotten the gun, and I told the officers 'from you'," Otoupalik said.

She testified earlier this year.

At the signing today, Inslee said the bill could help other families.

"It is hoped that this legislation will create a process that will help make communities safer and give peace of mind to families who are going through crisis," Inslee said.

The measure is part of a larger overhaul of the state’s mental health system. The new law takes effect in 90 days.

Copyright 2015 KUOW